Last night, I wanted to make something other than my normal panfried file, veggie and starch.
I finely chopped two shallot onions, coined five carrots, chopped four stalks of celery coarsely, and sliced up three white potatoes. I was going to dice them, but I got lazy. Didn't actually matter in this case. I heated safflower oil in my wonderful large new saucier (a four-quart non-stick pot with rounded sides so food just glides around. I've used it thus far for spaghetti sauce, stir-fries and curries and it's been marvelous.), and tossed in the shallot onions. (These looked like tiny regular onions to me, as opposed to true shallots, but they smelled more garlicky.) When they just started to look a little brown, I added the rest of the vegetables and water to cover, plus a couple of bay leaves, a good grind of black pepper and a cup of Chardonnay. I actually measured the wine, but I also took a sip. Not the best, but not bad. I then cleaned and sliced 2/3 of a pound of white mushrooms and added them to the pot. I let it come to a boil and then reduced the flame to a simmer.
In about an hour, the carrots and potatoes were fully cooked. I crushed some potatoes to thicken the gravy and let it simmer some more. I added about 1/2 teaspoon good balsamic vinegar, some salt and a shake of white pepper, and then, just before serving, I put in 2/3 pound of salmon fillet, in one inch dice. When the fish was cooked, I served the stew in bowls, topped with snips of fresh dill.
Next time, I might add some peas and/or corn to add to the taste and color, but it was pretty and tasty the way it was, and I would have liked to have served it sooner, as the potatoes did collapse. Next time, I'll dice them properly, and maybe microwave them first.
It gave us seconds plus a little bit for Jonathan to nosh while he was washing up.